Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

About Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

Hiking Distance: 500m loop
Suggested Time: 20-30 minutes

Date first visited: 2010-09-21
Date last visited: 2010-09-21

Waterfall Latitude: 52.91988
Waterfall Longitude: -118.0006

Waterfall Safety and Common Sense

The Maligne Canyon Waterfalls (pronounced “muh-LEEN”) were the waterfalls that we managed to encounter within the depths of Maligne Canyon.

Julie and I did a real straightforward 20-minute loop of the upper parts of the canyon, which encompassed I think the first and second bridges that spanned the deep and narrow gorge.

Maligne_Canyon_025_09212010 - Looking down at perhaps the tallest of the Maligne Canyon Waterfalls
Looking down at perhaps the tallest of the Maligne Canyon Waterfalls

These bridges also provided us views of the most interesting waterfalls including the tallest one (pictured above).

Even through there were many more waterfalls and rapids deeper within the canyon further downstream towards the 3rd through 6th bridges, we were content with our abridged experience.

I understand that the longer walk would’ve taken about 90 minutes each way.

While I’ve seen recommendations saying the one-way shuttle walk would be the best way to visit this attraction, it would only be possible if we had access to two cars or hitch hiked.

I heard it could also be done with a partner if each person started off at opposite ends of the trail, then the possessor of the car key would hand it over to the partner.

Maligne_Canyon_011_09212010 - Looking down into the depths of Maligne Canyon
Looking down into the depths of Maligne Canyon

That way, the person with the key could then regain the car, swing back around to the other trailhead, and collect the other partner.

Anyways, the main waterfall was right below what I think was the first bridge.

It was just downstream from the so-called Tea House where there were more cascades.

The gorge at this point was somewhat shallower than where the 1st and 2nd bridges crossed over.

And since the walk was relatively easy and straightforward, we were also joined by a pair of tour buses.

Maligne_Canyon_033_09212010 - Looking towards one of the upper drops of the Maligne Canyon Waterfalls near the shallower parts of the canyon
Looking towards one of the upper drops of the Maligne Canyon Waterfalls near the shallower parts of the canyon

So I’d imagine this was a really popular attraction, especially considering it was also en route to the remote Lake Maligne.

Speaking of Lake Maligne, in order to get that postcard view of Spirit Island fronting the lake in a mountainous backdrop, we had to take one of the boat tours that took us all the way to the back of the lake.

That end of the lake was nearly enclosed in by the box canyon.


The Maligne Canyon Waterfalls reside in Jasper National Park near Jasper in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is administered by Parks Canada. For information or inquiries as well as current conditions, visit their website.

Jasper_011_09212010 - As my Mom would say, 'Early bird gets the worm.' In this case, we chanced upon this antlered elk on the way to Maligne Canyon
Maligne_Canyon_005_09212010 - On a well-established and signposted walk leading down into Maligne Canyon
Maligne_Canyon_006_09212010 - Julie following the paved walk before it entered the depths of Maligne Canyon
Maligne_Canyon_009_09212010 - Julie crossing over what I think was the second bridge spanning the depths of Maligne Canyon
Maligne_Canyon_010_09212010 - Broad look at the footbridge spanning the width of Maligne Canyon
Maligne_Canyon_012_09212010 - Peering into the depths of the Maligne Canyon looking upstream. Notice the striated and curly formations suggesting there was once a flood with some whirlpool action here
Maligne_Canyon_013_09212010 - Peering into the depths of the Maligne Canyon looking downstream over more cascades
Maligne_Canyon_021_09212010 - Looking towards the top part of the tallest waterfall in Maligne Canyon showing some gorge context
Maligne_Canyon_022_09212010 - Looking directly at the tallest waterfall in the Maligne Canyon
Maligne_Canyon_037_09212010 - Looking downstream from the upper cascade into the shallower depths of Maligne Canyon as we were about to complete the loop walk
Maligne_Canyon_041_09212010 - Looking even further upstream towards the shallower head of Maligne Canyon with what seems like more cascades
Lake_Maligne_003_09182010 - We saw some mountain goats or rams en route to Lake Maligne

To get to the signposted turnoff and large car park for Maligne Canyon, we headed northeast of Jasper along Connaught Drive before it junctioned with Hwy 16.

Turning left onto Hwy 16, we followed this highway for under 2km before turning right onto Maligne Road (you’ll be crossing a bridge).

Maligne_Canyon_003_09212010 - Looking back at the large car park for Maligne Canyon
Looking back at the large car park for Maligne Canyon

Look for the well-signed turnoff for Maligne Canyon to your left after about 6.2km on Maligne Road.

Note that it’s another 37km beyond this turnoff along Maligne Rd to get to the beautiful Lake Maligne.

For some additional context, Jasper was 365km (under 4 hours drive) west of Edmonton and 412km (5 hours drive) northwest of Calgary.

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Bottom up sweep of the tallest waterfall in the canyon as well as the gorge context it's in

Bottom up sweep of one of the upper waterfalls upstream of the main one

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Tagged with: maligne, canyon, jasper, spirit island, tea house, bridges, alberta, canada, waterfall, canadian rockies

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Maligne Canyon Waterfalls – Jasper National Park, Alberta March 5, 2019 9:39 pm by John Moerk - Maligne Canyon is a slot canyon located in the Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The canyon measures over 160 ft deep, and only 6 ft wide in spots. Popular for sightseeing and exploration, the area contains waterfalls and underground stream outlets. Two of the unnamed waterfalls are shown. ...Read More

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About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of the award-winning A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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